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Spreading Christmas cheer one holiday card at a time

<i>WNEM</i><br/>Larry Pratt has received nearly 500 Christmas cards.
Larry Pratt has received nearly 500 Christmas cards.

By Emily Keinath

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    BEAVERTON, Michigan (WNEM) — A Gladwin County has many to thank this year, for keeping the season merry and bright.

TV5′s Lauren Piesko shared the story on how one simple ask quickly turned viral.

“It’s unbelievable how many people are sending them. To get as many as we got – that tells you something,” Beaverton resident, Larry Pratt said.

Pratt has received nearly 500 Christmas cards and counting.

“I want to let them know that I appreciate it, and it made my heart feel a lot better,” Pratt said.

The 93 year-old veteran lives alone and usually spends time with his neighbor, Jared Nickel.

It was during one of their many walks together, that Jared said an idea sparked…

“He was down and we were talking about hunting season and talking about the holidays coming up. And we got on the topic of Christmas cards and how a lot of people don’t seem to send them anymore, and he doesn’t receive as many as he used to,” Nickel said. “So, I just kind of started thinking about all the Facebook groups that I belong to and eventually decided to write a post, and it really went way too viral from there.”

Just about every inch of Larry’s home is covered in Christmas cards and thoughtful gifts from all over the U.S.

“I’ve got them from California, Texas, North Carolina, Florida, just about everywhere. It makes me really feel good that I get them and when I put them up, I usually read them again,” Pratt said.

One thing’s for sure, this is a Christmas Pratt will never forget.

“It’s more than just they signed a card, people have wrote large letters and stories, you can tell that people wanted to do this and it made them feel good,” Nickel said.

With 436 cards as of Friday, Dec. 15, Jared said they expect to end up with over 700 by Christmas Day.

“Larry is a great neighbor and a good guy, and he deserves every one of these cards that have been sent,” Nickel said.

Pratt said he was thankful for the people who sent the cards.

“I thank the people that have sent them and wish I could meet them all,” Pratt said.

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